Ancient Europeans Incapable of Drinking Milk

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Ancient Europeans were incapable of drinking milk until about 3,000 years ago, a new research report has discovered. Studying a DNA investigative study, ancient humans were lactose intolerant. This means that their bodies did not have the ability to take in the normal sugar of the milk of animals. That would have led to bloating, flatulence and diarrhea.

Scientists from the University of Dublin removed samples of DNA from nearly 15 individuals who were entombed in a burial site in Europe’s Hungarian Plain. The area is where the Western and Eastern cultures crisscrossed and momentous ethnic and technical advancements occurred during the European early history period.

The DNA samples were taken from the petrous bones of the ancient skeletons. This is the rigid portion of the skull that shields the inner ear. It has been recognized that petrous bones are the best source of DNA samples for analysis. Because the bone is so hard, it stays extremely protected from any kind of damage. The skeletons were believed to be around 5,000 years old.

The DNA results showed that the prehistoric Europeans did not consume milk and it was only about 4,000 years ago that they began caring for any type of dairy animals. Professor Ron Pinhasi, who was the top author on the research report, stated that he and his team noticed conversion over to a lighter pigment in the Europeans skin, but surprisingly, there was no presence of any lactose tenacity. That showed the ancient Europeans had domesticated animals such as sheep, goats and cows, but they had not yet genetically established any kind of tolerance for consuming milk from animals.

Professor Pinahsi explained that the prehistoric humans might have begun using dairy for items such as cheese and yogurt but they were not drinking milk yet. European artifacts suggest that dairy usage by the ancient Europeans most likely began in the Neolithic period.

Even though milk might seem like a drink staple now for many individuals, it was not always this way. Such an idea of humans all being lactose intolerant was quite the surprise to the professor and his group. This was not something they had been expecting in the least

Pinhasi and the team also examined  how improvements in the farming industry and also technology were reflected in the genes of human beings. The scientists discovered that the skin of a person was found to have altered more with upsurges in both migration and technology. Daniel Bradley, who was also another author on the research report, told several different news sources that it is impossible to look at this study and not think that technology comes into the culture by osmosis.

When humans went in and out of the region where the samples were gathered, they left not only their technology but also their dietary habits in the gene pool. One of the features left from all the migrations was dairy use. Even though they did not consume milk, they did use it in cheese and yogurt.

By Kimberly Ruble


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Photo by David Amsler  –  Flickr License